06th Apr2018

WrestleMania 34: Match-Card Review & Predictions

by Ryan Kershaw

WM34_Lesnar_Reigns

WWE Universal Championship Match

Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns

I think that these two behemoths have done a fantastic job in building this match. I don’t think that many people were bothered about this contest as Roman Reigns won the Elimination Chamber to earn the right to fight ‘The Beast’ at the show of shows, but as the weeks rolled by WWE did a great job hyping this championship match on Monday Night Raw. Now, that isn’t to say that this contest doesn’t have it’s downs, it does, and it has one mega, huge, gigantic down heading into Mania. NO ONE WANTS TO SEE EITHER GUY WIN! If Brock Lesnar picks up yet another win to retain the Universal Championship then people will have a mild and mediocre reaction just like they did with Samoa Jo, Braun Strowman and the Royal Rumble triple threat. The big difference here is that the favorite to win is probably the challenger. Combine the rumors of Lesnar going back to UFC, he’s held onto the Title for a year now and that it’s at the showcase of the immortals and it looks very much like Roman Reigns will be leaving New Orleans with the win and the Universal Championship. Do people want to see that? The only other alternative for a lackluster retain is that ‘The Big Dog’ slays ‘The Beast’ to become the new Universal Champion. That would suck! Looking at the WWE over the past few years I would say that this match will probably go on last, god help us, and Vince McMahon will most definitely want to see his boy, Roman Reigns holding up the Title as WrestleMania goes off air. Now last year Mania finished with the focus being on the defeated Undertaker rather than the victorious Reigns but the year before that, at WrestleMania 32, the focus was entirely on Roman Reigns winning the WWE Championship and do we remember the cheers? NO! Do we remember the boos? YES! The crowd hated it and it turned a 6/10 Mania to a 5/10 immediately. You’re only as strong as you finish. The crowds opinion of Roman hasn’t changed much over the past two year and the fans negativity, especially if this ends the show, will blast through the television screen and be deafening to everyone inside the Super-Dome. The only way this contest ends with the fans positivity, or the right kind of negativity, is a Roman Reigns heel turn. Maybe Paul Heyman see Reigns as his next project, maybe Roman allies himself with The Authority or maybe ‘The Big Dog’ simply uses some dirty tactics to pick up the victory. I highly doubt. In fact I would bet my last £1 that no unpredictable antics happen in this match. Roman Reings will punch a one way ticket to Suplex City but he will Superman-Punch that City into the ground.

Prediction: New WWE Universal Champion, Roman Reigns.

WM34_AJ_Styles_Nakamura

WWE Championship Match

AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura

It is actually going to happen! A true dream match and one that I most certainly didn’t think would happen under the WWE banner. Ever since the Royal Rumble wresting fans have been salivating at the prospect of these two men going toe-to-toe on the granddaddy of them all. Now in my opinion, WWE dragged the “will they, won’t they” aspect of this match a little too long. Fastlane should of been an opportunity to hype this match at a WWE PPV. Maybe a Styles & Nakamura vs Owens & Zayn? Something like that. We didn’t need another match where WWE could have pulled the rug from under us and take away the dream match, because lets face it, we wouldn’t put anything past Vince McMahon’s master plans would we? Regardless we are here now, the match is set and though I don’t think that this will go on last (which it should by the way) I do think that we are in for a hell of a ride here. Styles and Nakamura have had an interesting back and forth over the past few weeks. With Nakamura playing mind games with Styles whether that being during a backstage interview or in the middle of the ring. I like the fact that these two men haven’t had brutal brawls or fourth wall breaking promos as the wrestling is going to speak for itself in this bout. There is not much else to be said with the Smackdown Live main event, but these two men have a lot of pressure to put on a Meltzer five star classic. Let’s be honest though, if any two superstars of the current WWE roster can pull it off, It’s AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura.

Prediction: New WWE Champion, Shinsuke Nakamura.

WM34_Miz_Finn_Seth

Intercontinental Championship Match

The Miz vs Seth Rollins vs Finn Balor

This match seemed a little thrown together but that doesn’t mean we can’t get excited about it. By the looks of things Seth Rollins was meant to head into WrestleMania with a feud with Jason Jordan, thank god he’s here, Finn Balor was rumored to of had a Universal Championship match with Brock Lesnar in January, which he probably would have been a squash match and completely derailed the Irish star, so thank god he’s here and finally, all of The Miz’s hard work with the Intercontinental Championship has led him to a high profile match at WrestleMania, thank god he’s here. What we have here are two men that are at the very top of wrestling ability and a champion that can hold a live crowd in the palm of his hands with his awesome (excuse the pun) promos. Let’s not forget that The Miz is no stranger to show stealing matches nowadays as well, so this could very well be the talking point post Mania. The Miz has done a great job in promoting this match with his MizTV segments on Raw, which has turned this match into one that would be a fun ride to one that I’m genuinely really looking forward to come this Sunday. Rollins and Balor have done the usual baby-face promos heading into this one but on the go home addition of Raw they went toe-to-toe in one of the best singles match I’ve seen on WWE’s weekly show in a long long time. This will be a solid technical match with plenty of high flying spots which in my mind places it as a great mid-card match to break up more intense contests, even with recent rumors that this match would be on the kick-off show, which would suck! For the simple fact I think there will be a lot of Title changes on this show, this one may just be staying with Mr. Miz.

Prediction: Still Intercontinental Champion, The Miz.

WM34_JinderOrtonRoodeRusev

United States Championship Match

Randy Orton vs Jinder Mahal vs Bobby Roode vs Rusev

Well I really didn’t think that I’d be looking forward to this one! I was in the minority at Fastlane as I was pretty pleased that Randy Orton walked away with the United States Championship. To have a man on the Mount Rushmore of WWE walk into WrestleMania with the U.S Title elevates the Championship and puts it into a position to have a long reigning and meaningful Title holder next, like Rusev? Maybe? Hopefully! PLEASE WWE!

Yes I would love to see the Bulgarian Brute walk out of the showcase of the immortals with the United States Championship to truly celebrate Rusev Day, but I just can’t see it happening. Rusev was placed in this match as he was selling a lot of merchandise and was getting the best crowd pops in the company, I don’t think the higher ups see him as a Title holder, I have no idea why, Rusev is simply killing it right now. Then we have Bobby Roode. I actually think that Roode is the least likely to walk away with the win, but WWE have done this weird Title booking in recent years so who knows? They may have taken the strap off Roode just so ‘The Glorious One’ can win it at the biggest show of the year. It makes no sense to me but recent WWE booking doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me either. Could we have Orton retain the gold? I don’t think so but I wouldn’t be gutted if he did. As previously mentioned it never hurts to have one of the biggest stars in the promotion holding a secondary Title. They just have to make the right decision of who wins it eventually or it’s all in vain. Which leaves us with one more option, yes, I believe that Jinder Mahal will win the United States Title at WrestleMania. Mahal gets a lot of crap for winning the WWE Championship last year but did he really do an awful job? He gave us a typical heel Title run, with typical anti-American promos and dirty tactics. If the upcoming feuds are right that could really work for the United States Championship. It’s a bit boring but I wouldn’t be devastated to see ‘The Modern Day Maharaja’ lift the U.S Title at WrestleMania 34.

Prediction: New United States Champion, Jinder Mahal.

WM34_BarBraun

WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match

The Bar vs Braun Strowman & ???

Well this came out of nowhere. Sheamus & Cesaro are both fantastic performers and as a tag team they have been constant highlights from WWE Pay-Per-Views and weekly shows. There is no doubt that as the Raw Tag Team Champions the pair deserve a big WrestleMania match to defend the Titles. That being said the booking could have been handled much better. The Bar have been partnered up with one over the most over superstars on WWE television right now but it just seems rushed and thrown together. This match stinks of “we need these guys on the card so just throw them together.” There is one interesting dynamic in this though. Braun Strowman has a mystery partner to reveal on the show of shows. There has been rumor after rumor as to who this could be and I have a few thoughts on who it could be. First of all I thought that it was going to be Elias, but due to how little sense that would make and that Elias has a gig of his own to deliver I think that may be off the cards. I then thought of how WWE would usually book it, so don’t be surprised if Kane or The Big Show come out as the partner. I think that we can all agree on one thing though, that would be a waste and boring as hell! WWE do have an ace or two up their sleeves here though, with NXT being such a crowd popping success a guy like Aleister Black or The Velveteen Dream could use this to not just create an interesting and compelling tag team but it could launch their career on the WWE main roster. But I have a thought, a prediction, picture this, Braun Strowman enters the ring staring at Sheamus & Cesaro, he grabs a microphone and says “when you can’t count on anyone else, you can always count on family!” The lights go out and as they come back on Bray Wyatt is standing in the ring. This may just be the moment that Bray Wyatt has been waiting for. He is one of the top performers in the WWE and a personal favorite of mine but he has no legitimacy, he has lost every major feud and match that he’s had and this could finally be his making. Wyatt should have beat John Cena at WrestleMania 30, he should have overcome The Undertaker at Mania 31, he didn’t even have a damn match at WM32 and yes, of course he should have retained at WrestleMania 33. If WWE do this Strowman and Wyatt could be one of the most dominant tag teams we’ve ever seen, they have a ready made rivalry set for The Bludgeon Brothers and a Pay-Per-View main eventing feud when they inevitably split. I think that this would be absolutely amazing, do you? If you say no that’s fine, we’re entitled to our own opinion, but you’re wrong. Bring it!

Prediction: New Raw Tag Team Champs, Braun Strowman & Bray Wyatt.

WM34_UsosNewDay

WWE Smackdown Tag Team Champions

The Uso’s vs The New Day vs The Bludgeon Brothers

This is a solid match up. The Uso’s are in my opinion the best WWE Tag Team since the Edge & Christian/Dudley Boyz/Hardy Boyz era. They are athletic, charismatic and wonderful heels with unrivaled chemistry. One may be mistaken to think they were brothers or something. As for The New Day, they have been and remain one of the most entertaining parts of WWE television. The longest reigning WWE Tag Champs of all time and are a must for the biggest show of the year. Then we have The Bludgeon Brothers, the new kids on the block, kind of. Of course we remember Luke Harper and Eric Rowan as part of The Wyatt Family but they were constantly in the shadow of Bray Wyatt and never got to reach their full potential. Together on their own I believe that The Bludgeon Brothers could be an amazing tag team, for years to come. The bottom line is that this match has zero weak links and I think it may even have the ability to steal the show. The difference of styles and personalities should make for such an interesting dynamic this Sunday and in the best way possible I don’t care who wins this one. As long as they all stay in the Tag Title picture on either Raw or Smackdown long after the event.

Prediction: New Smackdown Tag Champs, The Bludgeon Brothers.

WM34_Asuka_Charlotte

WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship Match

Charlotte vs Asuka

I’m going to stick my neck out here, but I believe that this could be the greatest Women’s wrestling match in WWE history. Now I wish that WWE got Asuka to challenge Charlotte immediately after the Royal Rumble and I wish that this match had so much more momentum heading into WrestleMania, but it is what it is and I’m super excited about this contest. If this match did have a full 2 month build I truly believe this could have been the first Women’s match to main event WrestleMania but as it stand sit would be there for the sake of being there and quite frankly the booking doesn’t deserve it, but the performers do. Charlotte is, in my mind, the greatest female wrestler in history and she proves it again and again. Asuka is dominant and exciting with that damn long streak heading into WrestleMania. This match will be a mat masterpiece with some real tough and gritty moments, it could very well be the match of the night.

Prediction: New WWE Smackdown Women’s Champion, Asuka.

WM34_AlexaNia

WWE Raw Women’s Championship Match

Alexa Bliss vs Nia Jax

They may just be a shock in this one. At first I was sure that this would be a squash match but I’ve had a change of heart. To present Nia Jax as a true monster but still keep Alexa Bliss’ integrity in tact, Mickie James is going to have to get involved. She’ll probably get her ass kicked by Jax with Bliss taking advantage. I don’t think that will be the whole story though. With Asuka going to Smackdown after WrestleMania there is a slot open for a Women’s wrestler. Carmella, she is Mrs. Money in the Bank and I believe that she will cash in a pin Bliss for the Title.

Prediction: New Raw Women’s Champion, Carmella.

WM34_CedricMustafa

WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match

Cedric Alexander vs Mustafa Ali

Surely part of the kick-off show. I think these two men and 205 Live have done a brilliant job in building the Championship Tournament and delivered fantastic matches, but the previous booking of the Cruiserweights has damage the division too much. Without a Rey Mysterio or Neville the 205 division just doesn’t have the star power it needs to be on the main card of WrestleMania. That being said I do think this will be a great match with plenty of high flying spots, should be a very fun watch.

Prediction: New Cruiserweight Champion, Mustafa Ali.

WM34_Andre

Andre “The Giant” Memorial Battle Royal

A whole punch of people the WWE see not good enough for an actual match.

In the words of the great Peter Griffin “Oh my god, who the hell cares?!” This match has done nothing for any of it’s previous winners. I’m pleased that all the WWE roster are going to get a WrestleMania appearance and payday but this match truly is a waste of time. The commentators will try to say that the winner will go onto big things but we all know they won’t. I really hope that ‘Woken’ Matt Hardy wins just so we can get some comedy with him talking to the trophy.

Prediction: Winner, Dolph Ziggler (I dunno guys!)

WM34_WomensBattleRoyal

The Women’s WrestleMania Battle Royal

Again, I’m not sure what to say about this. I would have much preferred a Sasha Banks vs Bayley match but I suppose there’s always Payback. There might be some cool moments but overall it will be a waste of time just like the men’s version. If the women do get it right then I really hope that they can use it to push a deserving performer to the Title picture.

Prediction: Winner, Sonya Deville.

WM34_Kurt_Ronda_HHH_Steph

It’s Time To Get Rowdy

Kurt Angle & Ronda Rousey vs Triple H & Stephanie McMahon

She’s here! The most recognizable name in all of female sports in the world today. Ronda Rousey will be making her WWE debut. Now to use a wrestling terminology she’s probably green as hell so I’m damn pleased that she has Kurt Angle and Triple H in there with her to give the fans the wrestling part of the contest. Let’s be honest, Stephanie wouldn’t be much help on that front would she. But let Triple H and Kurt Angle chain it out for 10/15 minutes then give the fans their moment and get yourself a WrestleMania pop when Ronda Rousey gets into the ring and dismantles dear old Steph. The sight of ‘The Billion Dollar Princess’ tapping out to a debuting Rousey would be a show-reel highlight for years to come. The four participants have done a pretty good job of hyping this match. With Mr & Mrs Helmsley getting the upper hand on the go home edition of Raw I can see a clear win for ‘Team Gold Medal’ and a massive push for Ronda Rousey for the rest of 2018. If I could change one thing here it would be to team Rousey and Heyman up but you never know what’s going to happen after the event.

Prediction: Winners, Kurt Angle & Ronda Rousey.

Bad Ass or Bad Idea?

John Cena vs The Undertaker?

The fans have known that this match was going to happen pretty much since WrestleMania 33. Just like the Universal Title match. Here you have the two of the biggest names in WWE history squaring off in what will more than likely be The Undertakers last match. It has been an intriguing lead up to this one with The Undertaker not showing up to accept the challenge of John Cena but surely WWE aren’t going to let this match not happen, right? The popular rumor is that The Undertaker is going to show up not as his ‘Dead Man’ persona but as ‘The American Bad Ass!’ I couldn’t agree with this more. I think that this will defiantly be the case for multiple reasons. The Undertaker will get to say goodbye less as a beloved character but as Mark Calloway. To say goodbye as his true self so that the WWE Universe can give the actual man the appreciation he deserves after the amazing career he’s had. It also ties into the ending of WrestleMania 33. After Roman Reigns defeated him, ‘The Dead Man’ placed his jacket and his hat in the middle of the ring as a clear message that The Undertaker is truly over. I don’t this would be an awful move from WWE and though it won’t be a master-class in wrestling the nostalgia will be in overdrive for all of us that are old enough to remember this 3 year run for The Undertaker.

Prediction: Winner, John Cena. (I’m not overly sure but I truly do not think it matters, let us just enjoy the ride, the last ride)

WM34_OwensZaynDbShane

YES! YES! YES!

Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs Shane McMahon & Daniel Bryan

After almost 3 years of wondering, hoping and praying that Daniel Bryan gets back into the squared circle the time is finally here. One of the biggest fan favorites since The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin is back, not just in WWE but at WrestleMania. The story-line is great too. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn have been a great heel duo and although you do want to slap both of them they are so funny and entertaining that you can’t help but love them. So that is the only way to get 2 heels that you want to get some crowd heat, get some crowd heat, put Daniel Bryan against them. Yes, WWE could have told this story better as far as the McMahon/Bryan relationship but I actually sympathize with them. They didn’t know if Bryan would be fit, or Shane for that matter. So if needed we could have got Owens vs Zayn but we didn’t need it, The match was set 2 weeks ago and we as fans just can’t help but look to what this could lead too. Now, this will be a very unpopular prediction but I really do think that Owens & Zayn will come away with the win sure to the story-line but will there be a heel turn by someone? Or will Shane McMahon simply eat the pin? This feels like more of a excuse to get some big names on the WrestleMania card but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to be awesome to see Bryan pack in the ring. A very early prediction here but I think WrestleMania 35 may just have Daniel Bryan vs The Miz. Now who wouldn’t love to see that 2017 story-line be revisited now that ‘The American Dragon’ can follow it up with a match.

Prediction: Winners, Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn.

What does WWE Stand For?

Elias has the Performance of a Lifetime

Elias is one of the fastest rising and entertaining performers in the WWE today and if the powers that be get behind him I think he could be a main event talent in years to come. He’s getting better and better in the ring and he’s so damn good on the mic. This, however, has a Dwayne Johnson interruption written all over it. The two men could have a brilliant exchange of words but of course, Elias won’t come off better here. The Rock will give him a verbal bashing and seal it with a Rock Bottom/People’s Elbow combination. But don’t worry Elias fans, I’m sure he’s on the verge of a big push…HE BETTER BE!

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